Too many companies still miss out on the opportunity transactional emails offer. Transactional emails don’t have to be boring messages sent after a newsletter signup, product order, password reset, support request, monthly invoices or renewal notification.
Instead, transactional emails can, and should, be optimized to both strengthen the relationship with your customers while also further educating them about your product or service. This leads to stronger engagement with customers who will be more likely to buy from you again or, if you are a subscription business, increase their lifetime value.
Making the most from your transactional emails is not difficult and can have a huge impact. Average email open rates vary by industry, but are usually below 30%. In contrast, transactional emails have a significantly higher open rate with a click-through rate nearly six times greater than bulk email.
It’s clear the opportunity from transactional emails is huge. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your transactional emails.
At the end of the day, it’s really all about customer experience. If a customer isn’t happy, for whatever reason, they’re not going to come back. Make sure your transactional emails are straightforward, helpful and functional.
To help make the customer experience a positive one, ensure all included links are working - everyone gets frustrated with links that don’t work. Also, enhance the look and feel of your emails by including graphics, logos and images when appropriate. With that said, keep in mind not all recipients will be viewing these images, so ensure your emails have important information in text form.
And for when customers need support, make it easy for them to reach you. If you’re sending emails from a donotreply@ address, offer an alternative contact method.
Personalized emails can significantly increase customer engagement and transaction rates. A recent study by Experian found personalized promotional mailings have 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings. Personalized transactional mailings have similar lifts, with 25 percent higher unique open rates and 51 percent higher unique click rates.
Despite the obvious importance, the study also indicated that 70% of brands do not personalize emails sent to subscribers.
A transactional email’s purpose will suggest the best time to send. For example, don’t send an email requesting a customer review your product before they’ve had a chance to try it. The result will be your email being ignored, deleted or worse - the customer providing a negative review. Likewise, for purchases and sign ups, emails should be immediate.
[Transactional email received from Smartsheet when you sign up for their free trial]
You’ve got your customer’s attention, now take advantage of it! Figure out how else you’d want to engage with your customer. While transactional emails do have an important primary purpose that is functional, they can double to prompt your customers to engage in another way. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media. Or maybe there’s a complementary product to the one they just purchased that they may be interested in. Experian's report stated that transactional emails that include cross-sell items have 20% higher transaction rates than those without. But it’s important that you don’t lose focus on the original purpose of the email so limit yourself to one additional call-to-action and make sure it’s not at odds with the original purpose of the transactional email.
Transactional emails provide a fantastic opportunity for companies to strengthen customer relationships, build brand awareness and increase engagement. By following these tips you can get the most from your transactional emails. Don’t be afraid to try new things and figure out what works for your company and customers.